So did you see who won the Manager of the Month award for March in the Blue Square North? Step forward the boss of Gainsborough Trinity, Brian Little!
When I heard the news my jaw dropped, After all, Little had looked like a seriously discredited busted flush when he left The Racecourse. Having taken a long break from the game before coming to The Racecourse, the impression grew as his tenure wore on that he had been left behind by the game, which had changed a lot since his glory days. Does his recent success suggest it's time for a re-evaluation of his time in charge of us?
I think not. He didn't have enough of an impact on our slide down the table, and he hardly inherited an impossible situation. But have subsequent events suggested that he was fighting against an irresisitible tide?
We've certainly suffered a number of embarrassing defeats since he left-frankly more than we did under him-and Dean Saunders' initial impact on the side, which suggested so strongly that Little had failed, wasn't sustained.
However, that impact was achieved by a couple of basic changes which showed Little to be deficient. Saunders simply imposed a clear style of play on the side-something which Little failed to do as he switched tactics match by match-and made some common sense changes in personnel. The selection of Marc Williams, who incredibly didn't appear under Little last season, is the most obvious example, but not the only one.
Furthermore, Little enjoyed a great deal of financial support from the board, which funded his introduction of a number of players in an attempt to fend off relegation, then a complete overhaul of the squad the following summer. Those funds were clearly weren't invested wisely, although Saunders is about to embark on his third reshuffle of the squad.
I suppose the conclusion to draw from Little's success last month is that it changes nothing. He might have enjoyed four good weeks at a lower level than ours, but he failed at Wrexham where a more savvy manager could have saved us from dropping out of the Football League. However, the number of similarites between his reign and Saunders' raises other questions about out current state.